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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who is right? Jeffrey Gitomer or Paul Cherry?

In his latest newsletter, sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer takes direct aim at the advice offered in the article "When sales call stall" by Paul Cherry. It is rare to see one guru take a shot at another. Gitomer doesn't name Cherry in his newsletter article, "I'd rather have no advice than bad advice", but the direct context similarity between his reference and this article suggests indeed it is one and the same. (Google is an amazing resource to check out things like this.)

In his newsletter, Gitomer writes:
Sales techniques are increasingly becoming passé.
So are the people that stress using them, rather than emphasizing the softer side.
I grew up selling, and I grew out of it.
If you have lost a connection, or if a hot prospect evaporates, or refuses to call you back or respond to you, the WORST thing you can do is try a sales technique. Why don't you try something new? Try being honest. No, not with the customer -- with yourself.
Gitomer of course is correct in saying that arbitrary and forceful application of 'sales techniques' is a recipe for disaster, but equally, I think you need to know the techniques to get beyond them. You will be effective at selling if you understand "Stalls", "Closes", and "Overcoming Objections" -- and then appreciate that humility and honesty go further than slickness and manipulation. But I don't think it hurts to understand the 'techniques' -- if only to appreciate their limitations.

1 comment:

Sonny Lykos said...

I am continued amazed at how sales gurus continue to teach the nuances of selling. Then again I shouldn’t be amazed since their income is based upon being sales gurus.

Would it not be better for any company to position itself so it rarely has to “sell” itself, opting instead to fine tune the processes needed where as their company becomes the preferred service provider from which to “buy?”

Of course, I’m talking about “branding.” Type that in google and over 95 million hits come up, so it’s not like a new concept. “Sales techniques” then become irrelevant because the sales person instead becomes an “advisor” to the customer, learning the scope of work, suggesting options and their pros and cons, and cost factors. And once viewed in the customers perception as an advisor, all attributes associated with selling disappear as “trust” in their advisor is developed. Neither my CPA, truck dealership service manager, lawn care company owner, attorney, dentist or other “professionals” I deal with on a regualr basis, never have to “sell” themselves on me, only explain, suggest, and “advise.”

A suggested reading is “The Trusted Advisor” by Maister, Green and Galford.